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Subject: one-sided point of view
Any reviewer saying that this is one-sided, simply hasn't watched this film. The students involved in the revolt are given a chance to speak. So too is the administration and staff. The police involved also have their chance to speak.
The difference is that the students state their demands, and terms lucidly; with eloquenc e in many cases. There is quite a variety of students' thoughts, and what they're going through. The student strikers state their case with precision, and deft
In contrast, the administration, some staff, and certainly the police have a very narrow script that they follow. Their dogma, they continuously chant their homage to State: "YOU ARE TRESPASSING!" "YOU WILL BE ARRESTED!" "POLICE ARE COMING TO TAKE YOU AWAY IF YOU DON'T CONFORM!" "OBEY!"
Simply by virtue of them sounding like automatons, and bits of the machinery they're defending, it does not mean that they aren't given their chance to speak. Simply because their lines don't diverge from the standard script, doesn't mean the administration, et al, didn't have their chance to speak.
As we all know, actions speak louder than words: the administration speaks very loudly and directly be sending in the Storm Troopers.
I do admit, that this is a refreshing commentary of the political turmoil of the day. Those getting beat-up and assaulted by the cops are given a chance to say their piece.
This is in stark contrast to most "documentaries" of the day, and even now, where a "blank check" is given to those in charge, to set the terms of the discussion.
It's commonly understood that history is written by the victor(s). As such, this film stands as a beacon, where history is being written by the vanquished, and beaten.
Subject: valuable documentary
I saw this film during freshman orientation at Columbia in 1983. It recounts the events of May 1968, during the week before final exams. The film is part of the aura that clings to this time period for more than a few Columbia students (at least up until the 1980s). The riots actually led to quite a bit of change: the gymnasium was never built (it was later built on campus, which meant that there was no need for the community access the city had originally required of the controversial gym), the president of the university was replaced a year later (by Columbia's first Jewish one), and after several more years of springtime demonstrations the week-long study period between classes and exams was eventually reduced to a day. Even still, in 1984 the students blockaded for several weeks Hamilton Hall (the building which was taken over by the black students in 1968) to demand the university disinvest from companies operating in South Africa. It worked.
Sadly, this dupe has muddied contrast and the sound quality has deteriorated.
Subject: wrong year
The Columbia student takeover was in 1968, not 1969.
Subject: Revenge Of The Nerds!
Columbia Revolt tells of the students of Columbia University standing up for what they percieved as right. In this case, the building of a new gymansium (!) and various other illwill. Shot verite style, the camera work is very amateurish, and all taken from the students' POV. There is no narration in the film, rather the students, whether it's taken from the odd speech, or spoken into the camera itself, dictate where the students are headed. Obviously one sided, but still quite fascinating (and too long). This is a fascinating snapshot of 1969 and is a great companion to 'Brink Of Disaster'